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Old 02-04-2006, 03:04 AM   #1
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I'm moving to iowa, and we are CONSIDERING using my uncles big steel barn, and putting an apartment in. We want to put a floor in so the apartment is upstairs, and the downstairs still remains open barn/garage. The plannned apartment will probably be somewhere around 35'x50'....I have a few question. First, do you have any reference sites with guides on how to construct a floor, or should I just go off of how to build a deck? Also, with this span, how many vertical support columns do I need? What size wood would I use for the floor frame work? Just give me whatever info you find helpful.

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Old 02-04-2006, 03:21 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by pastfast125
I'm moving to iowa, and we are CONSIDERING using my uncles big steel barn, and putting an apartment in. We want to put a floor in so the apartment is upstairs, and the downstairs still remains open barn/garage. The plannned apartment will probably be somewhere around 35'x50'....I have a few question. First, do you have any reference sites with guides on how to construct a floor, or should I just go off of how to build a deck? Also, with this span, how many vertical support columns do I need? What size wood would I use for the floor frame work? Just give me whatever info you find helpful.
I would draw up the barn on 1/4" graph paper and got to lumberyard where you by the materials and ask them. You can span many different ways with engineered beams.

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Old 02-04-2006, 03:47 PM   #3
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nobody has anything to add??
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Old 02-04-2006, 09:39 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by pastfast125
nobody has anything to add??
Wayyyyyyy to much to consider. If I tell you to use 2x6 doug fir select floor joists spanning 15.5 and 1/2x8 beam in the center with column spacing every 7' would you do it??? You never gave enough details and you would need to do some load calcs and that is done by an engineer. You would be better off asking an engineer but then he would probably charge you. Go to the LOCAL lumberyard and they should be a lot of help...

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Old 02-04-2006, 10:43 PM   #5
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And by local lumberyard he means (I think anyway), NOT the big blue box and NOT the big orange box. Oh they'll give you an answer, no doubt, but not one I would trust to hold myself up 20 feet off the barn floor.
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Old 02-04-2006, 11:41 PM   #6
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o yea I know, lol, most of the guys workin in there don't have any idea beyond how to paint a wall. A question to kinda go along with this. If I were doing all the work myself, do you have any idea on the basic price to make an entire apartment? like dishwasher, sink, bathroom, stove, couple walls, all the flooring. I know it's pretty vague, but just like a basic price range.
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Old 02-05-2006, 12:44 AM   #7
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If I were doing all the work myself, do you have any idea on the basic price to make an entire apartment? like dishwasher, sink, bathroom, stove, couple walls, all the flooring. I know it's pretty vague, but just like a basic price range.
..umm...somewhere between $1 and $100,000 I bet. :D

Way to many variables and there really is no way to answer even reasonably close to accurate.

BTW: "A couple" walls makes 2 rooms as long as one of them is built into a corner. Are you sure it's not a "few"?

You need to make sure you know what you want, and how to get that done, before the first nail is driven...or even better yet...before it's even bought.
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Old 02-05-2006, 09:10 AM   #8
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Have you considered a used mobile home? Sometimes first ideas are not always the best. Is what you perpose possible, yes but is it pratical, not necessarly. I see many issues with your plan that you are not considering so if low cost is involved why not look at alternatives.

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Old 02-05-2006, 09:20 PM   #9
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Well this isn't definately gonna happen, we are just trowing ideas around, but in our situation if we decide to stay at the properry now..thena single wide mobile would not be nearly big enough for me alone, and thats not even including my mom. So we were thinking she could get a single wide, and I could get the barn. ( I have lots of stuff and need lots of room) The reason we dont get a double wide is because from what my uncle was saying out there is, once it's down, you don't move it again, which would be a problem if we sell the property. For the barn build, If it was like 20-25 grand, that we could deal with. but I don't know, maybe that's a real low number?? Keep in mind, I'll be doing all the work, so we don't have to pay any contracters.
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Old 02-05-2006, 10:29 PM   #10
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Your 25 grand is a little low I would double that. I'm assuming you need all utilities out there,,, lots of uncertainties, you doing your own wiring, hvac, plumbing because here you can't even if you are a homeowner.

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Old 02-05-2006, 10:51 PM   #11
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I agree with Bob. What you are trying to do is build a small home on stilts inside of a barn. IF you could do everything yourself, engineering, design, build, plumbing, electrics, etc. with begged, borrowed and stolen components, you MIGHT be able to pull it off for $35K. Begging, borrowing and stealing takes time so allow at least a year or two for completion and you're still going to have a cheap home on stilts inside of a barn. Not a lot of resale value.
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Old 02-07-2006, 01:29 PM   #12
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Not to jump on the pile but, 35x50? that is a big a$$ apartment. and as bob and teetor said there is no sheet to look up 1750 sq foot apartment cost $XX.
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Old 02-11-2006, 06:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pastfast125
my uncles big steel barn, ..... We want to put a floor in so the apartment is upstairs, and the downstairs still remains open barn/garage. ..... should I just go off of how to build a deck? Also, with this span, how many vertical support columns do I need? What size wood would I use for the floor frame work? Just give me whatever info you find helpful.
The big steel barn may not be able to handle the extra load on its own frame. Probably only engineered for supporting its own weight.

Why not consider cordoning off a section of the building and build a 2 story apartment that takes only a portion of the barn floor. You would loose some floor space but make your new structure "free standing".

I don't think putting vertical supports in the barn is a good idea, if any machinery will be going in or out.

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Old 02-14-2006, 02:11 PM   #14
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I don't see you mentioning the insulation situation. Steel barns are not normally well insulated. If you are planning to live in it you might need to also upgrade the insutlation as well.

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